Kampala; Coca-Cola Beverages Africa in Uganda, in partnership with Boundless Minds today launched a virtual youth mentorship program to empower youth aged 16-20 with work–readiness skills to support their school-to-work transition.
Dubbed ‘Elevate!’, the program is designed to fill the gap created by the closure of schools due to the Corona VirusDisease outbreak (COVID-19) which stopped students in higher institutions from continuing formal learning or receiving additional mentorship after schools closed.
“We believe in enhancing the communities we operate in; through education, youth development, civic initiatives and other community activities. These are challenging times and we are fully committed to doing everything we can to help in all areas. In the context of covid-19 pandemic, we have new enormous challenges for our education systems and labor markets, but also a unique opportunity for structural changes between these two worlds and positive lasting effects. We are hopeful that this program will secure young people’s transition to work as it offers a comprehensive support system that guides and empowers young people on their educational and vocational pathways,” said Melkamu Abebe, General Manager of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa in Uganda.
“Considering the inevitable changes to work, employment and entrepreneurship will need to be redefined, especially for people at entry level. There is therefore, a need to create platforms that will mitigate the situation and enable students to access mentorship support that prepares them for the world of work, during this period,” said Benjamin Rukwengye, Founder and Chief Executive of Boundless Minds
Regarding the partnership, Rukwengye noted that this partnership amplifies their vision of preparing young people for work by increasing collaboration between institutions of learning and industry.
“We are honored to partner with CCBA to offer mentorship to the next generation of professionals, entrepreneurs and social justice champions – especially now, when the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted education systems and is drastically changing the future of work,” he said.
In Uganda today, there is a severe mismatch between the skills of young graduates entering the job market and the skills that employers need for today’s global workforce. An estimated 83% of the total unemployed in Uganda are youth and more than 70% of over 40,000 fresh graduates are unable to secure a job because they are unemployable. Across Africa, millions of youth lack adequate work-readiness or entrepreneurship skills and this program is one step towards reducing on the youth burden.
Participants will be enrolled on a rolling basis, primarily using The Mentor to access content in
Form of best practices, graphics and text. This shall be supplemented with the creation of
Online discussion groups for on-spot learning through mentorship sessions, thematic articles and videos. The mentorship period will run for 10 weeks, with the first intake running from October to December of 2020.
Elevate! is designed to be low-cost and low maintenance so that the youth can engage in it fully online. As part of the program, Boundless Minds will take lead in administering the training, assessments and tracking engagement and participation. The talk topics will involve employees of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, professionals and Alumni of Boundless Minds.